SMiLE

SMiLE, the rock'n'roll worlds greatest unfinished masterpiece? the record that never was, the unreleased waxy genius of Brian Wilson was originally going to be unleashed to the public sometime in the early days of flower power but as most now know that was not the case, the whole project was shelved and left to molder in the forgotten annals of rocking history, the Beach Boys as an entity went downhill to the pop commercial dump, into the trash as fallen heroes of yesterday, striped surfing squares from the plastic city, not at all relevant in the modern 1967 world after Monterey Pop high-jacked popular thinking with 'lefty' social conscience for the young draft dodging college kids and the Beach Boys were definitely now 'out of time' in both senses of the phrase (ironically the Boys were all set to headline Saturday at the Monterey bash but pulled out due to unsound thinking, just another mess up in the strange saga of the Hotshots from Hawthorne C.A)...
Smiley Smile was released late '67 to a largely disinterested public with the actual SMiLE project all but forgotten as Brian collapsed somewhere near the outskirts of infinity, diving headlong into paranoiac LSD madness for the last time, this time it was as 'serious as a heart attack', Brian stood at the gates of Chaos Central without a floor plan, the layout of his mind warped and wobbled on an hourly basis, nothing was the same anymore, the changes just kept changing too fast in Brians nervous system...

Into the seventies and a few heads were starting to look back to the sixties and 'discover' the lesser known bands, the more demented, eccentric and esoteric artists of the preceding decade were being looked upon with fresh eyes and listened to with more open ears. This is where the SMiLE mystery returned to the thoughts of a few wondrous types who wished to hear this supposed treasure trove of lost grooves that could equal the Fab4s mid 60s output, Brians equivalent of the Revolver/Pepper discs...
Somewhere around 1973 Al Jardine spoke to European music press saying SMiLE was being readied for release as a double disc set with a twelve minute version of 'Heroes & Villians', though that was Al making the most of an interview and of course nothing happened...
Nick Kent wrote a long long piece on Brian and his tribulations in a two part story in the English music paper NME about 1975 and SMilE was at the core of the piece along with tales of sandboxes in the living room, Brians health food store the Radiant Radish and his reluctance to take of his dressing gown...

Into the late 80's and a few books on Brian and the Beach Boys were popping up in stores and further interest was being aroused in more and more cats who just wanted to hear the original album, not remakes of SMiLE tunes that had drifted onto the market over the years on various B.B albums, SMiLE as a stand alone entity just had to be heard, someone must have the tapes, if only it could be released...

The nineties arrived and with them the first fully fledged bootlegs of SMiLE, at last it was here for all who could find it to savour the mysteries of this ancient supposed masterpiece. By 1995 some thirteen different boots were available, all full of varying tunes/takes/works in progress that made up SMiLE...
With the advent of home computers turning everyone and his dog into 'rock'n'roll scientists' the making of different SMiLEs erupted all over the globe with cats taking SMiLE apart and rejigging the various components to give a different feel to the sound of SMiLing...

SMiLE was a very personal project that Brian felt strongly about and the drugged paranoia he was suffering decided him to abandon it for what now seems a myriad of differing reasons (the usual harping from fellow BBs about the songs being difficult / fires breaking out in the vicinity of the studios / Fab4 making easy headway with their own 'New Pop', the list can become endless as the rumour mongers are still spreading stories) but it has turned into a personal project for all who care to 'have a go' at SMiLing. On offer here are five different mixes for audio perusal, you pays your money and take your choice...


15 comments:

  1. Gadzooks!! And I mean that! It has been too too long since I was sanctified by the spaced savior (verily, before the procession was squared and cubed) but good things come to those who wait. Including the Holy Grail that is SMiLE. I have loved the rambling commentary and elusive elucidation presented here since ever it was - a brilliant synchronization of blog prose with the subject matter blogged upon, real "value added". That's not to mention the amazing music itself. So herewith, a long overdue dose of thanks and admiration.

    So there. I said it. :o)

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  2. I thank you and agree whole heartedly as of course is to be expected. Hope you're digging these SMiLEs, it can all get somewhat addictive...

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  3. gosh thanks...i feel a bit lost and stripped of my training wheels without a li'l blow by blow guidance from y'all..

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  4. what is the story on smile ASCODIN MIX?...it's soooo different than the others!!! really nice

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  5. Don't really know too much about these mixes, theres more in the CDr box if anyones interested I'll post them. Some are better than others but the whole idea of Brian Wilson making the first interactive LP is cool, and he'll probably dig the concept of sharing...

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  6. I turned up an article that gives a lot of background on how this thing came to exist:

    http://www.gadflyonline.com/05-06-02/ftr-smile.html

    It's an interview with Domenic Priore, who wrote a book about the album. He carefully avoids mentioning anything about how the bootlegs were made, possibly to avoid lawsuits...

    :o)

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  7. Domenic Priores SMiLE Scrapbook is a work of excellence and worthy of perusal if it's still available.

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  8. As soon as they are ripped there will be a few more SMiLEs waiting for the audio approval...

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  9. aw that's's greeeet...i bought that smile book a long time ago...it's a dense m other fukkker

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  10. More SMiLEs? Yay!

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  11. Yeah, they're on their way as soon as...

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  12. Hi Spaced One,

    Excuse the comment clutter...
    Wanted to let you know that we were zapped by The Man, but were back with a new home. If you could update/include us in your links, it would be greatly appreciated.

    NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT (REDUX)
    http://nevergetoutoftheboat-redux.blogspot.com/

    All the best,
    W

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  13. HA! Just noticing my previous post.

    Here's a NEW update for your blogroll. Never Get Out Of The Boat REDUX is over here these days.

    http://ngootbredux.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for all your kind support.
    Willard

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